6 Teamsters were arrested in connection with a 14-man crime-ring that was stealing and reselling electronic equipment, clothing and jewelry in N.Y. Each faces up to 10 years in prison. Many of the stolen items were sold to an undercover FBI agent in 67 transactions according to U.S. District Court records. The 6 were UPS drivers. UPS notified the FBI that it had suspected criminal activity. [A.P. 06/11/98]
Violent Teamsters Shut Down CA Port
The Port of Hueneme, near L.A., was shut down on Jun. 1 due to a violent Teamsters strike sparked by a dispute over 2 forklift workers’ salaries. The reportedly illegal strike idled hundreds of workers and stranded 3 cargo-laden ships.
Police were present to stop Teamsters’ violence against Longshoremen wishing to cross the picket line. All 250 members of the International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union honored the picket line until an arbitrator ruled that the strike was illegal ordering them back to work. Dozens of Longshoremen moved toward the picket line but retreated after threats and chants of “No scabs! no scabs!” were hurled by the Teamsters. ILWU leaders invoked a health/safety clause of their contract ordering members not to cross the violent picket line.
Local 186 Teamsters’ boss, Bill Elder is not reported to have denounced the violence. He just stated that the salary offer was 40% less than they wanted “and we can’t accept it.” [L.A. Times & Ventura Co. Star 06/02/98]